Beat Writers Block – Beat it with a STICK!

Beat Writers Block- Now!

Follow these simple steps to get through that wall of endless misery and doom.

  1. Be Kind – be kind to yourself.
  2. Small achievable goals.
  3. A crappy first draft is great!
  4. No editing
  5. Free exercises for you – from me.

I’m going to explain this all some more, I promise.

This was originally going to be a VLOG – but after a few attempts at filming, well I decided that writing is more my thing that speaking.

Step One: So, lets get back to step one. Be kind. Did you hear that?  BE KIND TO YOURSELF!

I know what it feels to have writers block, or writers procrastination. You wake up, and you’re already carrying around that heavy weight in your chest. There’s already a little voice whispering ‘you didn’t write yesterday…’ or ‘you haven’t hit your word target,’ or even, ‘everything you write is absolute rubbish.’ You know what you have? Writer’s guilt.

Stop it. Stop that right now and take the pressure off of yourself. Especially at the moment when many people are in lockdown, this seems like an incredible opportunity to learn a new language, finish up old projects and pour time and investment into your dreams. For the people for whom this is a reality, that is amazing!

For me, I’m struggling between working from home and childcare. Despite barely leaving my house, I actually have less time and feel more pressured to be getting my WIP finished. More Writer’s Guilt added onto your usual pile.

Let it go. (There’s a whole song about this…)

elsea

Let it go, or you will wake up tomorrow and that nagging feeling will be back.

It’s hard to get into a positive headspace to write if you have to wade through the river of Writer’s Guilt first. We have to get out of this habit. So be kind. So what, you missed a deadline, a day, a week, a year… You won’t meet that 90k target in six months, blah, blah, blah… Let it go. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes if you like. Acknowledge it and let it go. I didn’t write yesterday or whatever. I WILL write today.

Step Two: Small achievable goals.

You WILL write today. Open up that WIP. Get to the last thing you did, the latest chapter and just write. Write 100 words. That’s it. Just 100 words. Have you done it? Here is the best part.  Save it. Close the computer. Walk away happy – you did it! Now the most important part – REWARD yourself. Go for a walk, have a soda, read a book watch your favourite TV show. Do something that gives you a mental woo and makes you feel good.

You know what you’re doing? You’re training your brain into a positive response when you do your writing. You’ll be amazed at how much easier and better you’ll feel tomorrow when you carve out just a few minutes to write again.

Tomorrow? Open up that WIP. Write 200 words. Save it. Put it away. REWARD!

The day after: Write 300 words, save it, put it away – REWARD!

Repeat until the process becomes easier and you’re able to write freely.

Now here is the final trick – Always end before you run out of steam for the day. If you’ve written 2000 words and you’re in the middle of a juicy scene, then stop before the scene ends and you’ll be excited to get back to it. Most of all, always give yourself that little reward for getting it done.

Step Three: A crappy first draft is great!

NO ONE HAS TO SEE IT.

When you’ve sat down to write your 100, 200, 300+ words and it’s hard, then just remember that it doesn’t matter what you put down on the page. It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. It’ll be 100 more words than you had before and that it what matters. You can’t edit a blank page but once you’re WIP is done you can go back and completely rewrite it. Delete that stuff out if you need to. But maybe there will be something worth keeping?

fry

Step Four: Don’t edit as you go.

This will be maximum leech for your momentum. If you realise a huge plot point then write it down. Adjust where your story is heading and write forward. Always write forward. Don’t go back and start tampering with threads and arcs until you’ve got that first draft down – otherwise you’re always going to be buried in the first part of the book.

You’ve got to keep moving forward. One step and one word at a time.

Step Five: Some exercises for you!

I thought I would share some writing exercises that can also help.

Free writing: First of all, free writing is brilliant. If you really, really do not to put the words into your WIP when you’re struggling, then just sit down with pen and paper. Set a timer for 10 minutes and just write. Write EVERYTHING that comes into your mind. Even if it’s just ‘I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just going to write and blah, blah this is so ridiculous-’ you get the idea. Just write. Write for ten minutes and then set it aside. It’s a bit like a mental ‘unclogging.’

Microfiction: Now something I’m also really keen on is microfiction. Using 100 words or less to tell a story or construct something lyrical. There’s a whole bunch here on the blog if you want to read. Now I’m not going to tell you that it’s any good – I’m not sure that it is! But it entertains me, and the people who give me the prompts. Melodramatic Dinosaurs, Romantic Zombies, Tyrants and Penguins (romance was a big theme)…So that’s something.

I’m going to be running a #microfictionchallenge if you want to join in. Everyone is welcome! I’ll put up a prompt of a word, and a genre that the story is meant to resemble. You have 100 words or less to construct something around it. I would love to see some responses, or you can even set me a challenge.

My challenge to you, for today would be the word: Television in the genre of Action.

Now go write!

Better yet! Give me the 100 words you get done today! I expect it to be brilliantly random and make very little sense.

baby

Micro-Fiction Challenges – Eight

I love his dark crown. His bright eye turns to the world and searches scorched earth for me. He commands legions and holds dominion over my heart. He gifts to me both orcs and goblins and promised a ring for my hand. What more could I wish from any in the shape of man?

Challenges

I  put out a call for people to challenge me and this is my sixth response. The prompt was Tyrant & Romance. I saw this one coming from a few days ago, and it’s been giving me some thought. I originally was going to write something about the romance between a different fictional tyrant but had a last minute change of direction.

Join me in the challenge! post your micro-fiction of 100 words or less below. I challenge you to use the prompt of  Muffin and the genre of Crime. Have fun! I would love to see some responses.

Previous Prompts

Dinosaurs & Melodrama

Penguins & Romance

Mitosis & Farce

Wine & Sci-Fi

Zombie & Romance

Horse & Adventure

Train & Travel

Micro-Fiction Challenges – Seven

The little blue train on a wooden track. It rattles across the suspension bridge and through the plastic mountain. No passengers at the station, no freight to collect. Dinosaurs line the junctions and a Mr. Robot guards the shed. Little blue train on an endless adventure. Open books for tunnels and a tin foil lake. Chickens the size of Horses, scattered in its wake.

Challenges

I  put out a call for people to challenge me and this is my sixth response. The prompt was Train & Travel. This was actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be and it’s only 65 words long. However, I feel that if I kept adding then it would lost it’s form.

Join me in the challenge! post your micro-fiction of 100 words or less below. I challenge you to use the prompt of  Horse and the genre of Sci-Fi. Have fun! I would love to see some responses.

Previous Prompts

Dinosaurs & Melodrama

Penguins & Romance

Mitosis & Farce

Wine & Sci-Fi

Zombie & Romance

Horse & Adventure

Micro-Fiction Challenges – Six

We run together. Mountains, valleys, sand and fields. The ground rolls away behind us.

We walk together.  Cautious, we are braver together. Balanced together.

Your heart will always guide us safely home. My legs will always carry us.

I dream of lush green grass and wild flowers.; of sweet smelling hay and fresh cool water.

We rest together.

 

Challenges

I  put out a call for people to challenge me and this is my sixth response. The prompt was Horse & Adventure. This was actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. In the end, I think it came out as more a piece of poetry and it’s only 58 words long. However, I feel that if I kept adding then it would lost it’s form.

And yes, that’s me riding. It was a really special day.

Join me in the challenge! post your micro-fiction of 100 words or less below. I challenge you to use the prompt of  Pillow and the genre of Sci-Fi. Have fun! I would love to see some responses.

Previous Prompts

Dinosaurs & Melodrama

Penguins & Romance

Mitosis & Farce

Wine & Sci-Fi

Zombie & Romance

Micro-Fiction Challenges – Four

They were Mars Red and perfectly spherical.

An impatient voice called from the parlor.

‘Nearly!’ she answered. Voice tinny and nervously pitched. Grapes rolled into the hopper.  Her fingers tapped with deft precision on the control panel. The fruit hissed through rapid fermentation. From red to the acidic blue of an ancient five pound note.

She balanced the glass carefully between her hands and set it down on the tablecloth.

From her high-backed armchair, her mistress extended an arm. With only the faintest hum of mechanical whirring the wine was lifted, tasted and set down with a buzz of satisfaction.

Challenges

I  put out a call for people to challenge me and this is my second response. The prompt was Wine & Sci-Fi. I was really excited to write this piece as I had a clear idea of where it was going, as soon as I saw the prompt. I just hope that I did it justice!

Join me in the challenge! post your micro-fiction of 100 words or less below. I challenge you to use the prompt of  Chair and the genre of Horror. Have fun! I would love to see some responses.

Previous Prompts

Dinosaurs & Melodrama

Penguins & Romance

Mitosis & Farce

Happy Writing,

Fibi xx

Micro-Fiction Challenges – Three

One.

Alone in a box. It sighs with happiness.

Another appears. They glare across the distance, in the darkness beneath the lid.

Two more stretch out, then four. This is getting ridiculous.

One chases them away, but there are more and more and more.

Eight in the darkness, sixteen, thirty-two. Fighting for space. Two tumble free and the box topples over. Funny little furry creatures scatter across a cold metal floor. Sixty-four little Tribbles, trilling with delight. There’s Tribbles in the Loading Dock. Tribbles across the Crew Decks. Pouring out the ventilation and spreading through the ship.

 

Challenges

I  put out a call for people to challenge me and this is my second response. The prompt was Mitosis & Farce. This was a tricky challenge to nail down, and I’ve been thinking about it since it appeared, knowing it was coming up! I’m happy with how it turned out in the end.

Join me in the challenge! post your micro-fiction of 100 words or less below. I challenge you to use the prompt of  Apples and the genre of Steam-Punk. Have fun! I would love to see some responses.

Previous Prompts

Dinosaurs & Melodrama

Penguins & Romance

 

 

Happy Writing,

Micro-Fiction Challenges – Two

He swam towards pillars of white and the arch that stretched above the midnight sea. He left a trail of luminescence in his wake. Waves lapped gently against the ice as he climbed. Was she here? Was she waiting? With cautious steps, and outspread wings he peered into the darkness. I’m here. His voice echoed over the shelf. I’m here! He hurried forward.

I’m here.

Challenges

I  put out a call for people to challenge me and this is my second response. The prompt was Penguins & Romance. Although it’s a short piece, I think I’ve just about pulled it off! Tomorrow is going to be a tricky one!

Join me in the challenge! post your micro-fiction of 100 words or less below. I challenge you to use the prompt of  Snow and the genre of Fantasy. Have fun! I would love to see some responses.

Previous Prompts

Dinosaurs & Melodrama

Happy Writing,

Fibi

 

Micro-fiction Challenges!

I have really wanted to write some micro fiction put out a call for people to challenge me. This is my response to the first prompt I was given – Dinosaurs & Melodrama.

I couldn’t help where it ended up… once I got started it was, well it was inevitable! (If you know, you know) I hope that you enjoy it. I’ll work on getting one done a day 🙂

Steg grazed lush grass; revelled in the scent of fern, baked yellow dirt and coming rain.  Allosaurus dozed beneath the nearest tree. They were greatest allies and truest friends.  Thunder rumbled.

Steg looked up, content.

‘Good friends, stay truest,’ he smiled.

Allosaurus flexed. She stretched. She grimaced.

‘I’m hungry,’ the sky had darkened.

The herds had moved away.

His heart thumped with uneasy horror.

Allosaurus grinned. A blaze of light set the clouds on fire.

‘Curse you,’ Steg started to run. He tripped, he tumbled.

Allosaurus approached, teeth bared.

‘Curse your sudden yet inevitable betrayal!’

And then they all exploded.

Do you want to provide a prompt? Just comment with me a word like ‘Vampire’ or ‘Moose’ and a genre. Like Moose – Horror! And I’ll do my best to come up with a story of 100 words or less.

Or do you want to join in the challenge! If you do, then post your micro-fiction of 100 words or less below. I challenge you to use the prompt of ‘Daffodil’ and the genre of Sci-fi. Have fun! I would love to see some responses.

Happy Writing,

Fibi

The Changing Road

Writing is a journey.

It’s a sunny Bank Holiday afternoon, and I’ve had a little time to reflect on what I’ve achieved and how far I am in my writing quest.

I started writing because I loved reading. It was my escape and nothing quite beats the thrill of being lost in another world when you don’t want to be in the real one. So, I realised early on that I wanted to share stories and help other people escape. I wanted people to join me in my own little world.

I wanted to be good at telling those stories, so I made big decisions based on that. I studied literature for my degree and learnt how to pull apart writing and strip it back. Literature for me, is being able to disassemble the pieces of a larger puzzle, and then see how it fits back together into a more beautiful whole. I travelled and pushed myself to live in other countries, so that I could learn what it was like to live in snow or to sleep out in a forest where a bear might wander past. I joined re-enactment groups, studied longsword as a martial art, learnt to shoot longbow, how to work in natural horsemanship and how to sew.  I’m so very grateful for all of the skills I’ve developed and the knowledge that I’ve scraped together. Most of all, I’m grateful for the journey and for the companions I’ve met along the way. Writing has continued to bring magic to my life and in a strange world today, it’s a necessary escape.

This is such a diverse group of authors, and we’re all at different stages of our own adventures.  But I was just wondering, what have you learnt in the name of research? What hobbies have you taken up? What friends have you collected?

This is a journey, and we’re nowhere near the end of it yet.

And other confessions

Happy Friday!

I’ve been working on a few short stories, just to keep my mind in writing as I tackle longer projects. I’ve sent one off to a competition so fingers crossed!

On facebook I had a request to write a story for a friend, and here is the result. I keep being very tempted to write about my University years and fictionalise them. It would be a very different genre of novel and voice than I usually use, so I’m still thinking. The working title for the project would be: University and other confessions.

So, here is the beginning;

First things first about moving into University. Despite being ridiculously excited for years, the night before I decided that I didn’t want to go. I was going to stay at home, see the friends I already had, maybe I’d get a job in the local shop. I don’t think I slept.

The next day, I decided to give it a shot. We carried the boxes and the bags up the winding stairs and dropped them on the single bed, ready to be unpacked later. I was itchy with excitement. My heavy, black computer was carefully placed beside the desk. My Mum managed to get trapped in the communal bathroom. She was shouting for help, banging on the heavy wooden door as I smiled a nervous hello to my new flatmates; Rob and Rob, and Rod. At least their names would be easy to remember.

Once security freed her, I ushered my family out of the flat and waved them away from the kitchen window. Goodbyeeee. Dear God, please don’t come back.

The bed was made, pictures stuck to the wall. Computer plugged in and speakers rattling with the sound of Panic! At the Disco. I heard the flat door opening, then slamming shut. I peered out from my bedroom. The corridor carpet had once been blue. It still was blue beside the skirting boards. The centre was grey and worn out with age. Oh, well imagine, As I’m pacing the pews in a church corridor, And I can’t help but to hear.

She said goodbye to her Mother and went to wave goodbye from the kitchen window.

Hi!

Hi there!

Did you want some help setting up your computer?

Yes!

It didn’t take long. I crawled under the desk, kettle-lead in hand. I threaded the mouse and keyboard wires down the back, against the faded green wall. Somewhere in the background, the Killers broke into song. Coming out of my cage, And I’ve been doing just fine.

I had an emo fringe and she had Avril Lavigne hair. I wore a black t-shirt and my nails were painted blue. She stacked UB40 and Offpsring CD’s on the desk and I offered Green Day as a swap. Her TV started tuning, the slow line inching across the screen. We had tea. Milky, but not too milky and two sugars in mugs that still wore price stickers.

We took a walk to explore the campus. It was an end of summer day, bright and warm with stretched-out clouds and golden light. I don’t remember who started skipping first. But we were flying across the manicured lawn.

There was a statue, half hidden behind flowers and long grass. A man, upright in bronze with his hands resting lightly in his lap. I don’t remember who asked, and who answered.

Who’s that?

Geoff!

But they were right. It was Geoff, and we laughed at the incredible coincidence. We laughed and laughed until we couldn’t stand. That was the moment I knew. No matter what happened, we would always be stuck together. There would always be me and you.